A 30-year-old Montreal woman says she's thrilled to have survived an attack by a polar bear, even if it's come with a stiff price tag.
Erin Greene was airlifted from Churchill, Man., to Winnipeg after the attack on Nov. 1, in which she sustained wounds to her head, ear, arms and body.
The airlift alone cost $10,000and she hasn't yet received the bills for three transportations by ground ambulance.
A spokeswoman from Manitoba Health confirmed that as a resident of Quebec, Greene must pay for all transportation costs.
However, an agreement between Manitoba and Quebec means at least her hospital stay will be covered.
On Thursday, friends put on a fundraiser to help Greene out.
"I think it's pretty miraculous that I am still here,'' said Greene, who had been working at a restaurant in Churchill as a seasonal employee.
She and friends were walking home from a Halloween party when she was attacked.
Her ordeal only ended when 69-year-old Bill Ayotte ran out of his house and bashed the bear with a shovel, saving Greene's life by having the bear turn on him.
Ayotte's neighbour, Didier Foubert-Allen, 18, then saved Ayotte by shooting at the bear and driving his truck toward it while blasting the horn and flashing the headlights until the animal ran off.
"I'm still in shock that somebody would risk their life like that for someone else,'' she said of Ayotte, who was also hospitalized.
"Bill, he didn't know who I was, he had no connection to me. I was just another human being that he thought was valuable enough to risk his own life for.''
She is also grateful that people are raising money to help her pay her bills.
"I have my life, my friends and family and to not have not have to worry about all the medical expenses, I was really stressed out about it, so it's a great relief,'' she said.
Photo credit: calgarysun.com